Apium graveolens, Umbelliferae. The stems and dried ripe fruits are the parts of the plant used.

The seeds should be gathered when they are ripe in the autumn.

Functions of celery

Juice from the stem helps to detoxify the whole body. Celery seeds:

  • find their main use in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, and gout. They are particularly useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis where there is an associated mental depression.
  • have a diuretic action that is particularly useful in rheumatoid arthritis as it assists the body to remove wastes. It is also helpful as a urinary antiseptic for conditions such as cystitis and urethritis.
  • as an infusion improves the circulation especially to the bones and joints and it will also act as a mild digestive stimulant.

Notes on celery

  • Small amounts used in cooking are generally safe but do not take internally in medicinal doses during pregnancy or if you have a kidney disorder.
  • In rheumatic conditions they combine well with bogbean.
  • They work well in combination with dandelion.


Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonsful of the freshly crushed seeds and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times per day.

For the gardener

Celery is grown from seep in spring. It will grow in any reasonable soil.

Celeriac, smallage and soup celery will tolerate a greater range of conditions than celery grown for its succulent stems. All like full sun and humus rich soils which are well drained. To grow succulent stems, plant self blanching cultivars or green cultivars that do not need to be blanched. Harvest the stems when they are mature.

Celeriac, smallage and soup celery are more strongly flavoured than the more commonly cultivated celery. Celeriac stems can be used medicinally but it is generally grown for its bulbous root.


Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

Woodward, P. 2003, Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies. Hyland House.




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